Charter School breaks ground for new science labs

(From left) MVPCS science teachers, Jane Paquet and Louis Hall, architects, Bruce MacNelly and Reade Kontje-Webster, school director, Robert Moore, West Tisbury selectman, Skipper Manter, MVPCS student, Jack Rizza — Photo courtesy of Paul Karasik

The Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School (MVPCS) began the building process of two new classrooms and a community basketball court with a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, July 1. With a $200,000 grant awarded by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center this spring, MVPCS will dedicate the addition of new science labs and equipment to implement a modern science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to accommodate the K-12 school’s ever-growing student body.

Board members, students, parents, teachers, architects and other members of the community gathered outside the school to celebrate the groundbreaking. Students used their existing scientific knowledge to present science-related projects to the crowd in anticipation of the new facilities. Astrid Tilton displayed her cyanotype prints that require darkroom chemistry, Jack Rizza a data analysis piece, and 2014 graduate Greg Allan led his peers through a computerized tour of the classrooms.

According to development director Paul Karasik, the labs will will supply students with up-to-date equipment for biology, chemistry, physics, botany, and environmental studies beginning on the first day of school in September, 2015. The basketball court will be ready for use by the end of this summer.

Said Mr. Karasik, “The Charter School firmly believes that our country needs world-class scientists and that the only way to foster them is through a world-class facility.”